I’m not much for sugar coating things. This year’s Kansas State Wildcats men’s team isn’t good. They may be slightly better than their record indicates, but only slightly. When I watch them play, they look like a team of excellent role players miscast in starring roles. That tends to happen when you graduate a senior class like the Wildcats did last year, and don’t recruit in the upper echelon of college basketball.
When the basketball is bad (as I’ve established) you’ve got a few of choices.
- Stew in your own angry juices and hate watch every game.
- Defend the team until the end, ignoring the glaring flaws.
- Look for the good, ignore the bad, and focus on the future.
After a long career of stewing in my angry hate juice, I’ve started to come around to the 3rd way of thinking. The college basketball landscape is changing every year, and for teams dependent on developing talent, instead of renting it from shoe companies on a year-to-year basis, sometimes there are going to be a few bumps in the road. Hate watching basketball doesn’t give me any joy, and if it’s not giving me any joy, why am I watching? So, with my new philosophy laid out on the table. I’d like to take a break from the awfulness of this season, and look towards a brighter future, and a big part of that future is Nijel Pack.
Note: Rankings from 247 Composite
Nijel Pack - PG - 5’10, 165 - Lawrence Central High School - Indianapolis, Indiana
Star Ranking - 4-star (95)
National Rank - 101
Position Rank - 19
State Rank - 4
Recently, Pack has shot up the recruiting rankings with his dominant play at Lawrence Central High School. He shares the court with fellow 4-star guard (and Louisville commit) D’Andre Davis to form one of the most formidable high school back courts in the nation. His Lawrence Central team is off to a 17-2 in the highly competitive 5A division of Indiana High School Basketball, and are currently ranked second in the state with their only losses coming to top ranked Indianapolis rival Lawrence North.
Pack is the man with the ball in his hands for Central. He’s an explosive athlete with a well rounded game currently averaging 18.5 PPG, 4.3 APG, and 2.1 SPG. What Wildcat fans should be looking forward to more than anything is his shooting ability. He’s shooting 41% from 3 and a robust 93% from the free throw line. That’s right folks, my man can shoot free throws.
Bask in his glory.
Don’t get confused though, Pack isn’t just a shooter. Inside the lane, he’s got a patented floater he relies on to score over bigger defenders. That shot will serve him well during his time in Manhattan. Hopefully these highlights will warm your basketball spirits a little. It’s been a long, cold winter so far.
Lawrence Central Vs Warren Central 2019
This film is from last year. Warren Central was the 5A defending state champions loaded with athletic talent.
Warren Central - Pink
#22 - David Bell - Freshman All-American Receiver - Purdue
Lawrence Central - Gray
#24 - Nijel Pack
#14 - D’Andre Davis
I like to watch actual games instead of highlights or AAU film, because I like to see what guys look like in a structured basketball environment. That’s particularly important when you play for Bruce and the Wildcats. If you can’t play within the team concept, you’re going to struggle to get on the court. Pack plays team ball.
As I mentioned earlier, he plays with another 4-star guard in D’Andre Davis, which limits his attempts and points per game. At the same time, it keeps him honest. He’s not a guy that goes out and takes every shot playing hero ball. He picks his spots, and shoots a high percentage.
Lawrence Central vs Lafayette Jefferson
This is an official broadcast from this season, so no key needed.
I’ve tried to embed this video, but embeds have been disabled for this video, so you’ll have to click on the link.
Pack’s first 2 buckets alone are worth your time. He finishes with 18 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, and hits shoots 3-5 from deep.
How Pack fits into K-State
It’s simple really, the goal of basketball is to put the ball through the hoop. Pack can do that more efficiently than any guard on the current Wildcat roster. He’s played at a high level, against top notch competition in both AAU and high school basketball, making his transition to the next level easier. He won’t be wowed by the athletes and skill level of college ball because he’s played with and against some of the best players in the nation his entire career.
He is a bit on the small size, and he’s going to have to work hard on defense to keep from getting bullied by bigger, more mature guards. But he’s a hard nosed competitor who won’t back down from anyone.
Pack is a talented guard that can create his own shot, but does so in a calm and collected manner. That’s something the Wildcats desperately need. We’ll need to wait a little longer to see it in action, but I, for one, am excited to watch him ball out from day one.
Hope this helps ease the pain a little.
I’ll have more updates on K-State basketball recruits over the next few days.